Cress heads have been used to introduce children to the art of growing seeds And gardening for a long time.
Using cress seed instead of something like grass seed means you can also show kids the process of growing seed to make food.
The best thing about this activity, is it is super quick and can be done anytime and anywhere.
Children have very short attention spans so waiting on a row of beans to grow can be difficult for little ones.
Cress is a great seed to start with as it grows super quick.
You can of course use other seed for this activity like lettuce, mustard or even beetroot or cabbage seeds but cress is the fastest.
So, if you’re trying to get your kids into gardening this is a wonderful activity to get kids into gardening.
The materials you need for this cress heads activity are easy to gather.
- Some left over egg shells.
- Some compost, cotton wool, tissue.
- Cress seeds
The only other things your seeds will need are water, sunlight and alittle heat to grow.
How long does growing a cress head take?
Cress takes around 10 days to grow on a sunny windowsill.
How can you use cress?
Eat it on sandwiches or through a salad. It has a very slight pepper taste.
So, How Do You Make A Cress Head
Get started by collecting youre materials together and have fun growing with your kids.
What you will need to make cress heads
- Egg shells – however you eat your eggs just be alittle careful how you crack them.
- Soil, tissue or Cotton Wool – you dont need them all, just whichever you have at hand. We used soil but any of these will give your seeds a damp area to grow on.
- Cress Seeds – Bought from any garden centre and most supermarket seed selection. You can use any other fast growing seeds if you can’t get cress seeds though. Sometimes it’s fun to use different leaves and coloured varieties. Like red salad leaves, cabbage sprouts, or radish.
- Marker Pens – A black marker pen is helpful to draw faces on your eggs. You could use your craft supplies to decorate them further, adding feathers, googly eyes etc can add more fun.
- We cracked our eggs into a bowl to make pancakes on Sunday morning so I kept the egg shell halves. It can be easier to just crack a little end off the top to leave maximum growing space, but I have tried this with eggs that have been halved and it works just as well.
- Give your egg shells a careful wash in warm soapy water and leave to dry.
- Fill your egg shells with soil, tissue or cotton wool. Be careful not to press it down to hard. Fill your shells up leaving a small rim from the top.
- Soak the insides, whatever you have used, just enough to make the surface damp to the touch. If you soak your soil now, it means you won’t wash your seeds down the drain later.
- Now, sprinkle your cress seeds over the soil quite thickly. We won’t cover these with soil. You just need to water them carefully with a teaspoon. Let drips of water land on the seeds.
- Now you just need to prop them carefully on a sunny windowsill where they can get some light, and warmth and after a few days you will see little seedlings popping up.
What to do next?
It’s a good idea to have a spray bottle on hand and let your little one keep the soil moist every couple of days.
After 7 to 10 days your cress will have grown large enough to eat. Hooray!!
Give your kids a small pair of scissors and let your kids give their eggs a hair cut and also loom bands can be used to put ponytails in etc.
Let them eat the cress on a sandwich for their lunch and see what they think.
Let us know if you give this one a go! It’s a lot of fun!